2017 Workshop descriptions

2017 Workshops

Check our schedule page to see when your favorites are being held! Many workshops are offered more than once during the week so everyone will have a chance to make the most of the conference!

Writing for Children Boot Camp with Michelle Medlock Adams
(Continuous Workshop offered Thursday – Saturday)

From getting started to getting published to getting the word out about your children’s book, we’ll cover it all! It will be high energy, nonstop fun—and Michelle promises to bring the chocolate!
Specifically, we’ll explore:

  • The many different types of children’s books—from board books to picture books to middle grade fiction—and where your story fits best, as well as nonfiction versus fiction.
  • The “make or break it” building blocks that your story must have to keep an editor’s attention and a child’s enthusiasm.
  • The process—from idea to finished story…
  • The myths and truths of children’s writing, answering those lingering questions you’ve been dying to ask, like, “Do I need an agent?”
  • The various venues for your children’s stories—from magazines to websites to anthologies to curriculum to library books.
  • The best ways to format your board and picture books for successful submissions, as well as the keys to building a killer book proposal for your tween and teen fiction and nonfiction books.
  • The elements of an intriguing query letter and the most effective ways to get your foot in the door with publishers today.
  • Ways to come up with great article/book ideas and what to do with those genius ideas once you have them.
  • Methods for marketing your published children’s book(s) once you enter “The Published Author World.” (Getting TV interviews, newspaper articles, celebrity endorsements, etc.)
  • How to enjoy the journey on the way to publication.

The Guide to Ghostwriting—Helping Others Write Their Message! with Michelle Medlock Adams
Maybe having your name on the cover of a book or at the top of an article isn’t that important to you. No, you’d rather help others get their life-changing messages into the world. If you feel called to help your pastor turn his messages into books, or if you’ve always wanted to ghostwrite books and articles for celebrities and popular personalities, this session is for you! Learn to write effectively in someone else’s voice.

How to Write for Kids When You Don’t Have Any
with Michelle Medlock Adams
If you’ve always wanted to write for children, but you don’t have any kiddos of your own (or your children are already grown), don’t despair! Having children isn’t a requirement for publishing great children’s books. Join Michelle for this informational session and learn how to get into the head of a child, learn kid lingo, find and develop kid-friendly ideas; etc.

Taking Biblical Truth to the General Market with Michelle Medlock Adams
Writing for both Christian and general markets, Michelle often sprinkles biblical truth throughout her mainstream articles and books. In this workshop, she discusses ways to weave the Word into general-market pieces without turning off readers and editors.

I Was Blind, But Now I See. Self-Editing: Illuminating and Fixing Common Mistakes with Lissa Halls Johnson
Whether you’re planning to publish traditionally or self-publish, editing is one of the most important skills a writer can learn. But where do you start? How do you see what is glaring to an editor but invisible to you? Whether you are writing fiction or writing nonfiction using fiction techniques, this class is a place where the awakening can begin.

But I Thought I Was Showing! The Difference Between Show and Tell with Lissa Halls Johnson
“Show, don’t tell.” Baffling words to many. What does it really mean? What is the difference? Must you always show and never tell? Whether writing fiction or nonfiction, knowing the difference between show and tell, and when to use them, can be critical to engage your reader.

Independent Publishing Boot Camp (Friday Only) with Cheri Cowell
Learn the pros and cons of this growing trend, how to evaluate your options, the basics of formatting and cover design, e-book options, and how marketing your self-published book is different than marketing a traditionally published book.

  • Session 1: Evaluating Indie/Co/Self-Publishing: The Pros and Cons of Doing It Yourself.
  • Session 2: Understanding the Do-It-Yourself Process: We’ll look at the various things you need to master if you’re going to indie-publish a print book.
  • Session 3: Why E-Book? We’ll look at the limitations in e-book technology and what it takes to convert your book into an e-book for Kindle and others.
  • Session 4: Marketing an Indie Book: We’ll look at three major components of a marketing plan: your brand, an Internet presence, and what is needed in a social media plan.

Mapping a Great Article with Cheri Cowell
Learn the writer’s secret to article success—mapping. It’s a tool all good writers use when drafting their manuscripts to create one winning article after another. After this workshop, you will be one of those writers, too.

Reprints, Rights, and Rewrites—Getting Mileage out of Your Work with Cheri Cowell
It takes twice as long and ten times the energy to write a new piece than to rework and resubmit that piece again and again. Learn how to get more mileage out of your work in this chock-full-of-tips-and-tricks class.

Writing to Feel God’s Pleasure with Lora Zill
In the film Chariots of Fire, the Olympian and Christian Eric Liddell knew God had made him fast, so he ran to feel God’s pleasure. God has made us writers, so when we answer that call, we can feel God’s pleasure too. This workshop will explore how creating through the craft of language honors Jesus as the Root and Wellspring of our creativity, empowers us to follow Him, and satisfies our longing to feel God’s pleasure.

Writing as Creative Expression (2 sessions) with Lora Zill
These sessions will offer hands-on activities to encourage more creativity in your writing, no matter what you’re working on. We’ll be inspired by paint chips, seed catalogs, word tiles, newspaper and magazine headlines, and stained glass pieces. We’ll have fun generating ideas and opening ourselves to fresh insights. Writing is a craft and an art, and we’ll enjoy both processes during these workshops.

Public Speaking with Carol Hamilton  
(Continuous Workshop offered Thursday – Saturday)
Publishers are looking for writers who speak as an essential part of their “platform.” Carol will share practical ways to prepare and present an engaging talk for any audience. This workshop has been praised by past St. Davids attendees as a “must.”

Foundation of Fiction through Film with Eva Marie Everson
In an innovative and hardly boring series of ongoing classes, Eva Marie teaches the dynamics of writing fiction using films and TV shows. The class spends time watching the video, breaking it down scene-by-scene, character-by-character, plot point by plot point, writing out scenes and repeating until the movie ends.

Peace in the Literary Storm with Jim Hart
There are tools and practices that can help us deal with discouragement when it enters, or threatens to enter, our lives. As both Christians and creative people, we can be subjected to seasons of disappointment. However, it’s possible to not only survive through these seasons, but to still thrive, in spite of a dry spell.

In this workshop we will consider:

  • Living the dream: it could be worse, I could be a (fill in the blank).
  • Faith vs. Plan B
  • Patience, trust, exercise, and other bad words

Peace in the Literary Storm will encourage you to dig in for the long haul, and be confident in the gifts that the Lord has given you.

Starting Strong: Strategies for First Lines and First Pages for Nonfiction Authors with Jim Hart
In Starting Strong, we will cover the importance of knowing what the first pages of your nonfiction books should accomplish, such as:hooking your reader
Along with discussing Strategies for Strong First Lines, we will also talk about the importance of knowing how to begin unpacking your Big Idea in the early pages of your book.

The Essentials of a Good Devotion with Roberta Tucker Brosius
and Sue Fairchild

Are you a fan of The Upper Room, The Secret Place and other Christian devotion-type magazines and books? Do you have an idea that you think would sell, but, perhaps, are unsure if it fits the market or how to submit your work? Maybe you have an idea for a full-length devotional book, but are having difficulty making it sound cohesive. This workshop will provide the tools and tips of the devotion-writing trade whether it be a short devotion or a devotion-filled book. We will discuss what key items to include in your devotions as well as markets and their requirements. Bring an idea or already written devotion to class for evaluation.

Friday and Saturday Classes
Inspiring Others – The Chicken Soup Way with Hana Haatainen-Caye
Did you ever wonder how to get an inspiring true story into print in one of the series of anthologies, such as Chicken Soup for the Soul? There is a formula. In this workshop, learn how to take a great story and transform it into a dynamic tale ready for publication. No matter how good your story is, it won’t go very far without 5 crucial elements. Submission guidelines for CSS will be covered, as well as current story callouts. Gather your stories and discover the secret to sharing them with the world!

A Purpose-Driven Blog with Hana Haatainen-Caye
Have you thought about blogging but just weren’t sure where to begin? Of did you wonder, “Who would care what I have to say?” Do you have a message you want to share with the world? It’s amazing how many people across the globe will visit your blog, provided you know how to drive visitors to your site. In this workshop, we’ll discuss reasons why you might want a blog, ways to reach the widest possible audience, and how to make your blog stand out from all the rest.  Note: This workshop will not include the technical aspects of blogging.

Fictional Characters Anonymous with Hana Haatainen-Caye
“Hi. My name is Doris, and I’m a fictional character.” During this workshop, all participants will introduce themselves as one of their characters from their WIP and will remain in character throughout the session. Consider this a support group meeting for characters to work out some of their issues. The results of the meeting are often surprising, as you discover character nuances, vulnerability, and trigger points. In order to write enticing fiction, you have to know your characters intimately. FCA can help you do just that! All participants will be expected to take part in the discussions. Limited to 12 participants.

Saturday One Day Workshop:
Becoming a Social Media Maven with Tonya Wilhelm (All day ongoing class)
You poured yourself into your latest project. It’s edited, the cover is designed, and you are ready to show it to the world. You hit social media with the big news and…crickets chirp.

Marketing is the key to the success for writers, speakers, and artists who are pursuing their trade professionally. Social media is a must, but it can be overwhelming and discouraging if you don’t know how to establish your brand on the various sites available. Join me as I demystify popular platforms, decode hashtags and algorithms, and turn you into a social media maven!



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